UK: Fewer young people drink alcohol

An NHS report into smoking and drinking among young people has revealed that the number or 11-15 year olds that have tried alcohol has reduced from 61% in 2001 to 45% in 2011.

The NHS Information Centre report Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England, 2011 said that the number of children that had “drunk alcohol in the last week” has more than halved from 26% in 2001 to 12% in 2011.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: "The continued decline in underage drinking is particularly welcome news. The increase in the number of young people who have never drunk alcohol and the fact that those who do drink appear to be drinking less, suggests that messages about the risks of underage consumption are being heard. This is why the industry continues to pour resources into initiatives to change attitudes to alcohol.”

Siobhan McCann, head of campaigns and communications at alcohol education charity Drinkaware, added: “Today’s statistics show an ongoing downward trend in the consumption of alcohol among 11-15 year olds in England. It is encouraging that over the last 10 years fewer children are drinking alcohol.

“While the decline in the number of children trying alcohol is good news, the report still shows there are 360,000 young people who were reported drinking alcohol in the last week alone.

“Drinkaware’s own research shows parents are the biggest suppliers of alcohol to young people aged 10-17 and also the biggest influence on their child’s relationship with drink. Today’s report provides even more incentive to parents to talk openly about alcohol with their kids and delay the age of their child’s first drink for as long as possible.

“We have brought parenting experts together to give mums and dads the support they need to do this. Help is at hand at”